Ireland’s Direct Provision system is an ongoing human rights scandal, trapping asylum seekers in limbo for years and violating their human rights. It is a fundamentally flawed system. No amount of reforms or improvements will ever make it acceptable. After 20 years of cruelty, it is well past time for the Government to finally end Direct Provision.
What Needs to Happen? ‘Set the Date’ to End Direct Provision
We are at a critical moment. In 2020, the Government committed to finally end Direct Provision and replace it with accommodation that has the protection and promotion of human rights at its core. While these commitments are welcome, it is in their implementation that we will see actual change.
In October 2020, the Government published the Report of the Advisory Group on Direct Provision. This report provided a comprehensive and detailed set of recommendations towards ending Direct Provision by 2023.
The Government is currently working on its plans to end Direct Provision. In mid-February 2021, the Government is expected to publish its ‘White Paper’ setting out what it proposes to do. This will be the test of its commitments. Direct Provision has continued through 20 years of successive governments, so this cannot be another false dawn that dashes people’s hopes.
So, we’re calling on the Government to accept the Advisory Group’s recommendations and finally ‘Set the Date’ to end Direct Provision. This will need a whole of Government approach. There needs to be a detailed implementation plan with a concrete timeframe and ironclad commitments that will outlast any shifts in the political landscape. And the alternative must respect and protect people’s human rights.